ST. LOUIS, Mo. – After consecutive days of area hospitals admitting less than 200 patients each day, the region blew through previous admissions records today. There were a numbing 244 new patients seeking COVID care overnight in St Louis region hospitals. 

The previous high mark in admissions during the pandemic was 227 patients just six days ago.  Today, the St Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force announced the 244 new admissions to hospitals comprised of the SSM, BJC, Mercy and St. Luke’s Hospital health systems.

The record comes just one day after Task Force leaders warned the worst was yet to come as hospital workers buckle under the increased burden of so many new patients.  The Task Force report released early this afternoon announced that 1,369 COVID-positive patients now occupy area hospital beds and another 52 patients are presumed to have the illness.  In all, that sets a new one-day mark for area hospitalizations as 1,421 people are currently receiving COVID treatment. 

This is the first time the region has reported hospitalizations over 1,400 patients.  The rolling 7-day average of hospitalizations now stands at 1,276 patients today.  Just two months ago, on November 12, that average was reported at 234 patients. 

In its briefing Tuesday, the Task Force warned that too many in the community might underestimate the danger of the Omicron variant, which has spurred this latest surge of COVID cases.  Those warnings were followed today by reports of an additional 23 deaths since yesterday in area Task Force hospitals.  

That is the most deaths reported in a single day in more than one year.  It also means the St. Louis region has recorded 174 deaths in area hospitals so far this year, now average of 18-deaths per day in the first 12 days of the new year.